Call for Applications (15 May) – Workshop (Forced) Migration and Media at the University of Leicester

Call for Applications – Workshop (Forced) Migration and Media at the University of Leicester

13th and 14th of June, 2016

This workshop consists of two days: the first day is targeted on academic knowledge sharing whereas the second day is aimed at dialogue with community organisations in and around Leicester.

For the first day of this workshop – Monday, the 13th of June – we are looking for applicants who conduct research on how media and forced migration intersect. The deadline to submit your abstract is on the Sunday, the 15th of May, 23.59 GMT.

Delegates are more than welcome to also attend the workshop of the 14th of June.

Outline Day 1 – Interdisciplinary Workshop aimed at academic knowledge exchange

Digital technologies have “woven themselves into the everyday lives of refugees” (Wilding and Gifford , 2013), opening up new spaces for agency and creativity. For example, 96% of the refugees in Uganda use mobile phones, which is a much higher percentage than the general population (Betts, 2014). We aim to bring together established and upcoming scholars from different areas together in order to further understand and increase our knowledge on the mediation of (forced) migration.

The academic interest for (forced) migrants and media is very topical given the influence of the ‘refugee crisis in Europe’- for instance in dehumanizing language regarding refugees and other migrants in the British media or the confusion about the realization that refugees own smartphones.

But while ethnographic research has indeed shown that diasporic communities are often vanguards of digital technologies and it is clear that forced migration and mediated connectivity are increasingly intertwined, critical research in this area is still lacking. The few notable exceptions show that media (mass media and social media) can influence one’s feelings of security, but can also provide opportunities to strategise and negotiate one’s position of insecurity (Aouragh, 2011; Collyer, 2007; Dekker and Engersen, 2012; Horst, 2006; Moore and Clifford, 2007; Wilding and Gifford, 2013).

We are looking for applicants who conduct research to further the understanding on how media and forced migration intersect. New and old media play a crucial role in the lives of (forced) migrants. Within this workshop we aim to explore how we can understand the intersections between different media forms, including people’s own media use, and (forced) migration. We bracket the forced, as we recognise that the label ‘refugee’ can have its own difficulties, and could even be considered as a governing tool appropriated by nation-states. This workshop could therefore also be opened up to people who consider mixed migration or challenge the distinction between economic and forced migrations in regard to media.

The workshop (see a detailed program in the attachment) includes interactive activities in which established scholars, new career researchers and post-graduate students from a wide variety of fields are able to learn from each other and write together.

After a general opening and key note speeches, the keynote speaker will be working within a small group of early career researchers (max. 5/6 people) on a specific subject which is related to the one of the 4 streams.

The 4 streams are:
1. Media representations of (forced) migration.
2. Methodology, media and migration.
3. Trajectories of (forced) migrants.
4. Media power in the politics of (forced) migration.

For a more detailed description of these streams, please have a look at the attachment or on our Facebook event-page: Workshop (Forced) Migration and Media.

The objective of the afternoon session is creating a more informal space where researchers working on similar subjects can present their work with people working on similar issues and to someone who has a tracked record in the field.

In the closing plenary session we will look for bridges, and consider how we as academics can best engage to policies and practices.

We ask you to submit the title of your work, an abstract of maximum 300 words and a short motivation of maximum 200 words why your works fits best in what particular stream by Sunday, the 15th of May, 23.59 GMT to

Accepted participants will be notified by the 20th of May.

Costs: Attendees are asked to contribute £10 each, in order to contribute to the travel costs of attendees without funding. Those attendees who have to travel far within the UK and do not have funding to cover travel costs can contact us for additional funding.

For more information or any questions, please contact, Mirjam Twigt, or Zakaria Sajir: or contact us through the Facebook event-page: Workshop (Forced) Migration and Media.

For more information on the Community Impact Event on the 14th of June, please contact Idil Osman or Mirjam Twigt: